By Lasitha Mendis (Manager HR – SLC)
Versatile and veteran Coach Champaka Ramanayake made an emotional comeback to SLC as National Fast Bowling Coach after a coaching stint with Banagladeshi Cricket Board where he functioned in the same capacity turning out a score of fast bowlers for their national squad. Champaka is very confident of Sri Lanka’s prospects and chances of winning the World Cup in 2011 and is determined to spearhead national campaign by energizing the fast bowling department with some vibrant coaching which he is undoubtedly capable of, given his track record as an inspiring and charismatic Coach.
During his previous tenure with SLC, he was instrumental in bringing out some fine cricketers in the caliber of Lasith Malinga and Nuwan Kulasekera to name a few. Champaka firmly believes that Sri Lanka can be the hub of fast bowlers if local talent is timely identified and encompassed. SLC is convinced that Champaka possesses core- competencies and the drive to deliver goods as he has always been considered a wholehearted performer with a steely determination. He will also strategize plans to counter batsmen who would pose a threat during the World Cup campaign.
Champaka made his debut in Test cricket in 1988 against Australia at Perth and played 18 Test matches until he retired from Test cricket in 1993, after home Test series with South Africa. He has taken 44 wickets at the average of 42.72. His best Test bowling figures had been 8/157. He was also a prolific wicket taker in ODIs capturing 68 wickets in 62 matches. Champaka is a proud product of Richmond College, Galle and became the first player from this premier southern school to represent national team in Test cricket and ODIs.